M&S cause concern for Welsh lamb

Welsh lamb leaders are rushing to reassure consumers on sustainability after what they claim were misleading comments from M&S bosses.

Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) hit out at Richard Gillies, director of M&S’s Plan A green initiative, after he was quoted saying differing feeding regimes meant that New Zealand lamb was more sustainable than Welsh Lamb.

However M&S claimed Gillies’ comments were taken out of context while he was trying to highlight the confusion that surrounds the sustainability of food. It said it did not know whether New Zealand lamb is more sustainable than Welsh Lamb but has insisted that it will continue to stock Welsh Lamb on its shelves.

Gwyn Howells, HCC’s chief executive, said: "It is very unfortunate that the comments made by Richard Gillies have been taken out of context and printed in the national press.

"The Welsh farming industry works very hard to produce a product that is of the highest quality while protecting the environment."

Howells highlighted a report from the Prince of Wales’ backed Cambrian Mountains initiative which supports Welsh Lamb’s green credentials.

The report found that livestock farms in mid Wales had some of the lowest carbon footprints in the UK and some were even carbon negative.

Howells added: "Through HCC’s breed improvement programme and the Farming Connect Red Meat Development programme, we are examining every method available to make farms in Wales more sustainable, while Welsh Universities are looking for new techniques that will further improve the industry.

"At HCC, we are also working on an environmental roadmap that will focus on how the industry in Wales can further reduce its carbon footprint and produce food that will have the minimal impact on the environment."

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